In the final part of the Richmond Kickers roster evaluation series, a look at striker and summarize the club’s off-season needs in this scenario.
If you’ve missed the first two parts which analyzed the Richmond Kickers’ keepers, defenders, and midfielders you can find those here – Part 1 & Part 2. We’ve been using a 4-2-3-1 formation and two-deep depth chart. However, it is a safe bet that Richmond operates with at least three or four forwards in 2020. First, let’s look at the 2019 players.
- Age: 22
- 2019 Appearances: 15
- 2020 Decision: Keep. In and out of the lineup throughout most of the season, Boateng started the final three matches of the season, scoring both of his league goals during that stretch. He was clearly acclimating to playing in the US, and to the club, but appeared to turn a corner as the season concluded. Boateng is young, aggressive in the attack, and one would assume, affordable.
- Age: 32
- 2019 Appearances: 23
- 2020 Decision: Release. Chin was the 2nd highest on the team in goals (5), tying him for 20th place in the league, but logged zero assists in league play. At 32, and based on the likely level of his contract, that simply isn’t good enough to move forward into 2020 with the Kickers.
- Age: 30
- 2019 Appearances: 22
- 2020 Decision: Release. Jackson was unable to find his peak form as a hold-up forward, creating chances for attacking runners or as a second threat from the wing. As likely one of the club’s most expensive players, and now 30, Jackson is the profile of player Richmond will begin to shift away from.
- Age: 18
- 2019 Appearances: 1
- 2020 Decision: N/A. A great prospect from the Richmond United Academy that is now playing in his freshman season at UNC.
2020 Roster (2 minimum):
- Signed: Boateng. This was the most straightforward position on the Richmond Kickers rosters. Along with the goalkeeper.
- Needs: One starter-level quality striker, along with one or two promising young forwards with varying skill sets.
2020 Roster Recap
Based on the players I’ve kept and the 4-2-3-1 formation, here is a quick summary.
- Goalkeeper: Akira Fitzgerald, Joe Rice
- Center backs: Wahab Ackwei, Conor Shanosky, Ivan Magalhaes
- Fullbacks: Eli Lockaby, Scott Thomsen, Zach Perez
- Defensive Midfielders: Josh Hughes, Nick Retzlaff, Maxi Rodriguez
- Attacking Midfielders: Greg Boehme, Matt Bolduc, Joe Gallardo, Ryley Kraft*, Mutaya Mwape
- Forwards: Charles Boateng
*Could be shifted to the defensive midfield.
As it stands, my list above brings back 17 players. Based on what I’ve heard, my list is higher than the club’s initial list. However, keep in mind that when the club announces, those are the players locked in early. Several more may eventually return based on personal circumstances or through off-season tryouts when the new head coach arrives.
It is safe to estimate Richmond end up with somewhere between 25-28 players. (Note: 30 is a roster maximum for USL League One in 2019.) Based on that, I see the club adding in the following positions.
- Goalkeeper: 0 – If Rice and Fitzgerald are back, a third keeper could be brought in on emergency loan as needed.
- Centerbacks: 2 – One to challenge for a starting role against Shanosky and another to provide depth, especially if the next head coach wants the option to use a 3 CB formation at times.
- Fullbacks: 1 – A new player to challenge for a starting role. Last season there wasn’t enough (any) competition on either side.
- Defensive Midfielders: 2 – Starter to replace Troyer and one young prospect for depth/development. This could shift if the next coach settles on Ryley Kraft as a CDM.
- Attacking Midfielders: 2 – Attacking wingers on each side to provide depth and competition for Bolduc and Mwape.
- Forwards: 2 – One starter level and one younger, but promising talent, akin to Boateng.
That would leave the roster at 26 players. Plenty of depth across the board, but space to add if the next coach has a formation that requires additional players in a particular position.
Now we wait for the official announcements to come in from the club. Expect November to be a big month for news from the Richmond Kickers.